Will The Cost of Living in Portland Reach San Francisco Levels?

Will The Cost of Living in Portland Reach San Francisco Levels?

Will The Cost of Living in Portland Reach San Francisco Levels?


This is a question we’ve seen asked many times lately. You may be asking it yourself if you’re struggling to pay your increased rental rates. Is Portland becoming another San Francisco?

Here’s a recent comment from Reddit user, PDXBlazerGuy:

“My rent for my studio is being raised to $1350 next month (cause I’m on a month to month and they won’t let me sign a lease) and that’s more money than I can afford to spend.”

That’s more than a 1 bedroom in most Portland Neighorboods (see below), but it is a month-to-month price. Still though, Reddit user, Jordanpattern had this response:

“Totally agree. That rent is as much as my mortgage payment (2 bed, 2 bath, 1.5 car garage) and $150 more than I paid for a studio in the heart of SF.”

Cost of 1 Bedroom Apartments in Portland

Well here’s what we were working with this past Spring 2015:

portland one bedroom apartments

No surprise, we’ve got the Pearl topping the charts at $1975/month for a 1 bedroom apartment.

Now fast forward a few months to October 2015 and we’re looking at 1 bedrooms in the Pearl District averaging $2325. An 18% increase.

pearl district rental prices

Ok, I can hear some of you saying, “Yes, but that’s The Pearl, I’m not surprised!”. So let’s look at other areas of Portland:

  • NORTHWEST: $1350 –> $1573 | 17% Increase
  • OLD TOWN: $1595 –> $1600 | .31% Increase
  • SULLIVANS GULCH: $1165 –> $1452 | 25% Increase
  • MT TABOR: $1040 –> $1095 | 5% Increase
  • IRVINGTON: $1295 –> $1150 | 11% Decrease
  • ELIOT: $1125 –> $1273 | 13% Increase
  • BROOKLYN: $1070 –>$1200 | 12% Increase

(Source: Zumper.com | Many neighborhoods didn’t have 1 bedroom apartments available at the time of writing.)

Landlords Must Give 90 Day Notices Of Rental Increases

Just today OPB is reporting that The Portland City Council has ruled that all tenants are to be given at least 90 days notice of any eviction or rental increase above 5%. The previous landlord requirement was only 30 days.

City commissioner Dan Saltzman proposed the new ruling. GoLocalPDX talked with him recently:

“Portland is facing some of the highest rental increases in the nation. People are afraid they will be priced out or otherwise displaced from their neighborhood.”

Go Local also mentions that many landlords bring up the fact that most evictions are due to “bad actors”. As a neighbor imagine one of these “bad actors” now having 90 days until they’re legally obligated to leave.

Rate Increases Even In City Owned Apartment Buildings

Ironically, just as the city begins to address rental rate increases & 90 day notice rules, Willamette Week is reporting on the Portland city-owned Headwaters Apartments in Multnomah Village. Reports of 20% increases, and tenants leaving as it becomes unaffordable as well:

“Andrew, a Headwaters resident in his 50s who lives on a fixed income of about $1,600 a month, saw his rent jump Oct. 1 from $1,025 to $1,200, a 17 percent increase.”

Portland’s Affordable Housing Program Is A Bust

Jeff Manning at the Oregonian just posted a very interesting story on Portland’s affordable housing program:

“Under the program, the city temporarily waives property taxes on an apartment building. The building owner in turn makes one out of five apartments affordable. In essence, the city and county help pay the monthly rent so a tenant can afford to move in.”

ZERO deals in 2015.

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